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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 1, 2011 9:00am-12:01pm EST

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this ability in bosnia and even with croatia, selling to ordinary people what the benefit is. i kind of joke it is true in the european union as well. 27 countries. i say this from the country that i know best, not necessarily the labor of the month for the year or the decade or the century and yet there are countries destined to get in because they see what the benefit can be. but for many people in bosnia and herzegovina they don't know what this would mean. we can talk about an end to conflict, potentially greater reconciliation but a season thing more practical than that. the ability to travel. the ability to trade more effectively. a huge market of a billion people to sell your products in without the various diaries' you
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would have otherwise. also doing trade deals elsewhere in the world. the political work that goes on that, people on an everyday basis to make a difference. one of the things i thought to do was to be more effective on the ground in putting forward the proposition that europe means a better future for better jobs, better opportunity. if we can do that -- >> so there have been rumblings for years that the constitution should be changed or amended. certainly the bosnian x felt there were some tweaks given the reality of how it was done. is that still something you are pushing for? >> yes. we would like to see the changes because we think there is too
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many possibilities of blockades. all those ethnic groups, they need some blockades. in order to be ruled by the others, so now it is time to remove those, like too many breaks. all of us have too many opportunities to stop -- it is something that must be sought. it is time to leave bosnia. we need to domestic -- [talking over each other] >> if you pull it out we need -- i am an optimistic. if you compare the situation 15 years ago, you will see that 60
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institutional state travel, it couldn't happen all over again. a lot of the army was serving in the hills and unified. and border control. insurgent surge, and the growth in the economy, complicated. it started not from zero but below zero. it grows with 8% year. growth is almost 8%. it is higher than all the neighboring countries. [talking over each other] >> how do you account for that? the economic growth in bosnia? >> we are working in that situation. >> what do you have?
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>> we have minerals, obviously not clever, educator. [talking over each other] >> children all over our highly educated, wired together and want to be part of the bigger world. >> they should have been given business. >> economic competition. do you think there need to be renegotiated -- the constitution? >> obviously already previous to dayton, time is money. there are new circumstances. this needs to be changed. there are two steps. firstly the group's must be told equally -- participating equally in political problems and
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secondly the obstacles for the eu and nato. i have heard the introduction that bosnia extensor herbs and not try. there are three nations--many important people in world history from this area. the monument is here before the u. n. when we entered the history and look at it, our collective memory is much more oriented to common lives than to war. this is the basis for the optimism. napoli the capability of the father of dayton the the capability of people to make it
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successful. this is an important message. >> we have very taken with titles, hard we? we are talking about constitutional reform. we tried to look at the ideas that might move constitutional reform forward. there are things that without fundamental changes the structure would allow functionality, president ivo josipovic focuses on functionality. right now as president ivo josipovic said people look to reconstitution and the structure to protect their interests rather than building a political culture of trust. if the sense that we can only move forward by building these
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very elaborate and rigid institutions is the only way to protect your interest it will be difficult to get functionality. what is needed in part is to build political trust among constituent nations of bosnia and herzegovina and the political leaders so that they can reach political understanding rather than constitutional or legal understanding to go forward. if they are recognized to support the other because they might move the election to the other side and develop a political -- to work forward and the constitutional issue is easier to deal with but without some political -- working together, there are technical, legal and rigid solutions which make it difficult for bosnia and herzegovina to move forward. >> alija izetbegovic talked about multilayers of authority and several armies and immigrations that are streamlined. there are a lot of different layers. the only person who has a hard
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time trying to figure out who is in charge and what line is what, does that need to be simplified as the years go on in the future? >> partially it is getting the responsibility -- partially it is dealing with the problem of checks and balances. we understand the fundamental constitutional value of checks and balances between the legislative, executive and judicial branchs. separate balances with constituent elements and the combination of the two makes it difficult to make very practical decisions which can benefit everybody. i don't want to overstress problems. we have made some progress in these areas but there needs to be -- and approach to confidencebuilding that does not solely depend on these. >> confidencebuilding means reporting for 15 years. what actually would it take to
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you think to get at the heart of what seems to be a bit of a paralyzing situation? >> would like to-year-old colleagues talk about that. [talking over each other] >> what would it take? it is a little bit too much. isn't it? >> it is complicated. it works somehow but some things are more simplified. >> give me an example. >> policy has its own constitution. there are 100 ministers. 1 80. so many things -- >> talk about big government. >> big confusion. we are going forward. now we have simplified the system to have domestic instead of mechanisms and such things and those -- let's say a europe in closed.
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it will reduce possibilities to stop the laws. then we should be very successful. they still have the attitude of sending two faces and messages. they have to do something. there is bosnia and they have to improve it and towards europe--the european union and nato. in this moment, 25% of youngsters are without jobs. >> that is what we are going to get to next. the challenge is the economy and joblessness in croatia. what do you think can be done to improve them? >> we have economic problems. not like bosnia and herzegovina but we need to develop
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international cooperation between neighboring countries. croatia and bosnia and herzegovina and for yugoslavia had different markets and surprises of going through the resolve of europe and africa, asia. after the dissolution of former yugoslavia, every single country, not always able to go back to those markets and our complementary e. economy can do this and now it is time to think globally. times to think about common markets in europe but also to have some common exports to conquer different markets in asia and africa and europe as well.
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difficult cooperation, a challenge and an opportunity. everyday i have a messages or e-mails from different people from croatia asking me to make our relationship with bosnia and serbia better. it is good for us. and that is essential for all people. >> since the two presidents how good are your relations in the economy? can you make them better now? [laughter and applause] >> yes we can. [applause] >> i would say in front of us to normalize the situation, i am an engineer so i would say the ways of building -- this building of trust, my gratitude to other
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people, to follow the same -- everybody is guilty on your side. to confess--not the one who opens in that sense. it will produce better atmosphere. it will encourage businessmen coming to the region. corporations within the region and building of institutions in accordance where they open the second of -- and finally building the infrastructure. we cannot become a member of the european union especially in montenegro. it is a way to employ the industry in the industry.
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to engage all the enterprises which can build and without such infrastructure you cannot develop the economy. that is my opinion. >> a fine may express, we are going to have an economic conference organized by the united states of america and also in fighting for president of all countries in the region. that shows our markets are too small to attract really important investors. and this is very high and i hope president clinton will join us because he was one of the people who inspired ourselves to organize a conference.
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this was said by president alija izetbegovic, is very important. it is important to have bosnia and herzegovina connected to croatia, slovenia and croatia, bosnia and herzegovina is very important. of this region can be really motivated economically by building an infrastructure together for communication. >> if i could ask jim and catherine ashton, croatia has fantastic tourism and so does montenegro and slovenia. what is it that is holding back that investment into this part of the world? >> you have a number of investors coming.
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[laughter] >> the biggest thing you have to have which we have seen in croatia we have seen in other countries which we will see more of in bosnia and herzegovina is political will. for business to invest you need political will combine with the rule of law. and the sense that there is certainty for investment. that is true anywhere from the united states to the european union to anywhere. business will go where it sees real opportunity but won't put down roots if it doesn't tell of the certainty of a market, certainty of a good investment opportunity and knowing that the rule of law will be there to supported if things get difficult. that is why everything that europe does, what we focus on is why we think this is so important but you have to have everything, political will to make the changes that will take us to be point where you can get
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these investments. >> i agree with that. the other thing to support and achieve in addition to national efforts which are extremely important in strengthening prosecutor courts and police is the cooperation within the region and one thing that is important that is happening is regional cooperation so interior ministries are meeting among all the countries of western balkans. police authorities meeting. the criminal syndicates, the corruption is too big for most small countries which have limited capacity themselves. here is the case where cooperation with the support of the united states and the you can make a difference and here's the place where they have shown real leadership of bringing together the others or convening and working level people, judges and prosecutors to take hold of this. the weakest case of albania and montenegro and bosnia could use the support of countries that
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are further along than what we have been talking about. >> very recently we had the opinion that criminals are cooperating much better than states. now it is completely different. we have special agreement among countries in the region to prosecute organized crime, especially mafia, very significant and relatively good cooperation cooperating with prosecuting war crimes. is a miracle after all we had. i think the rule of law is being invoked little by little in the area of the same level. >> can i ask for your point of view how successful these countries are doing in terms of not being mafias for organized crime economy? >> they're doing extremely well
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in -- not a problem that they have but countries face across the european union and across the world. the critical thing that we would look to is the collaboration of the best policeing and the best knowledge and effort tackling organized crime and so on, use across the region. i am not sharing information which is absolutely critical to working out where the gains are and how they operate. they operate like a business quite often and very successful to smash that you need to share information and collaboration. it is real tribute to what is going on in the region. >> one of the most pressing problems is unemployment. you see it in the united states and even greater in many countries around the world. how bad is the situation in europe and particularly how does
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the former yugoslav republic contribute to unemployment? >> i hate to say a country contributes to unemployment. what we have across the european union are very challenging times and i don't have to tell you something you already know about the situation which is very tough. the strength of the euro zone is beginning to show. the capacity of europe's finding its way through these problems by sticking together and being very clear and very stern about that collaboration and the desire for economic growth beginning to show with the european commission and so on. a real sense of movement beginning to be part of the european union's progress. for the countries that don't have the stability built in to their economy and don't have in a sense the capacity to be able to use the resources they have already laid down is tougher.
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some newer members states, one tiny example is the economy of romania with 7% to-7% in 15 months. huge debates on agriculture and problems for them to grapple with and they didn't know how the long term underpinnings dealing with member states so very conscious that it is different in different parts of europe. one of the reasons why it is so essential to try to plant that, this european union future is we have more tools available to help and help countries survive and move forward to develop their economy. >> would you say the speed at which croatia, bosnia and herzegovina are going is what we should expect? slower than we should expect? is it faster? about normal? >> we would like to see
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especially in bosnia to go faster. we have seen the progress we want. the direction is the right one but it is not going at the speed that will allow and ensure the people of bosnia that they will be in the same ranks as croatia. what we have seen as you look at the evolution of montenegro which has been able to take the competition. granted the situation is not as complex but there were hurdles to overcome. it is not to point fingers. especially americans but also europeans wish so much for the people of bosnia, wished that they could enjoy the same benefits that the other countries of the western balkans are getting and will have moved into the mainstream who are getting those benefits that we can't be satisfied with the progress which is why we are there so often and so engaged because we feel a sense of the people and we want more. >> you don't want to point fingers and i don't want to put
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you on the spot but i might. what would you ask alija izetbegovic to do as the first thing to move this process forward along the lines you have been discussing? >> what we ask is what we ask of all the leaders which is try to find a way to move forward and understand each other's concern and try to find a way in which you keep the interest of the people of bosnia and herzegovina in the forefront and think about the future and think about the fact that the compromise is always hard and always criticize these compromises and try to point out the benefits and leave. we heard that conversation earlier. is about holding office and leaving and the reason you hold office and the reason you are in office is not for yourself but for the people you are trying to serve and keep that perspective in mind. we don't have a specific set of answers or specific thing you must do that to encourage the
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sense of shared destiny to come to the room to be in the room together and try to find a way when you walk out of the room with some kind of agreement rather than just in the positions you came in. >> you talk about having to move forward, if you had to choose one thing that you think would be critical to move forward right now what would you do? >> what we need is better atmosphere. atmosphere which will attract -- >> how can that happen? >> i told you. i am expecting politicians to finally accept unified bosnia and herzegovina and a better future. that is out of my control. i am doing my best. sending messages. i am doing my best.
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but it is up to them. i am here to stay the we are asking to come to the business forum -- it means perks and our friends. i would like to make a regional one to save people from serbia, from russia from the meadowlands and the fourth april in the business forum. i invite all of them. we have to protect investors from a slow administration. too slow. we have to protect them from organized-crime. there are some big sharks.
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we succeed to put them in their place. we have to provide resources as i said. our rivers are so strong and all those things. >> the whole idea of nato and the european military commitment. the secretary of nato just spoke strongly about europe's commitment and said europe needs to stop being naive ought play needs to --. how big is that for the u.s..
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>> following the list there's a strong sense. i give a lot of credit to our european partners. we don't have any illusions about where the european publics are and the skepticism they have about this. but it is a way forward to the political and military strategy and this is a price our partners have played a role in slovenia and bosnia offering troops for afghanistan. this is the kind of thing we look for and we see the countries in the western balkans showing the will and determination and understanding, to share the burden of responsibility. >> they thought there was a problem, they made a harsh siege. what in your view to contribute more to the military situation
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whenever there is one rather than -- jobs in the united states and think it can do judgment in development work? >> i don't think europe thinks that. a friend of mine and somebody i'd meet every month to talk about nato collaboration. he has a job worry about defense commitments. and looking at issues of finance and the european union and he wants to raise the concern. having said that i don't think europe will see this of end of the spectrum, leading the house stuff in the u.s. or far from it but what was really interesting that came after the nato summit was a concept where a part of that is this collaboration with the eu and nato. our commitment is to be working
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side-by-side on problems and issues that need a full spectrum of -- if you take afghanistan where individuals and states, where the eu is supporting general david petraeus and his work. i see him regularly too to support the training of police for common ground and so on and i indicated the european union will be working in afghanistan for years and years to come because long after the military campaigns there will be continuous work. and undersecretary clinton and i met with the women of afghanistan last time to talk about their future too. it is a collaboration. a collaboration across the spectrum. where the e you can benefit is also having additional support for military campaigns and other things to provide real security. >> can i throw a devil's advocate question? given the united states has done a lot in terms of development,
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it is quite shy about doing that. compared to the war fighting, what would be wrong with the u.s. doing war fighting and leaving that non sexy job of development and nation-building, they can't say nation-building because it is a dirty word. why not leave it to europe? >> if you look at the financial commitments we made -- >> i acknowledge that. >> you have seen something in the united states in the previous administration. nation-building wasn't capital anymore and we have come to recognize this is fundamental that crisis prevention and stabilization are at the core of what we do and if you read the quadrennial policy and development review that secretary clinton masterminded for us, starts a dramatic commitment over the long term for increasing our capacity and
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the pre-eminence to develop as well as part of the preview of defense development and policy strategy. it would be a disaster for the united states as the appointee end of the speaker. if we allow our faked to get coupled and american men and women are dying and not sharing the burden when we have a common interest with european allies the alliance is over and that is the heart -- nothing works for -- >> i know you just -- are you concerned that europe might because of the budget cuts and what is going on contributing less than you would like? >> we understand the fiscal reality that european governments face.
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is important people recognize shared responsibility and shared commitment that we can't have a free ride or take advantage of this. it is right to discuss these issues. secretary gates discussed this with his colleagues. one thing we felt for some time is whether we need to get finance ministers in to this as well as defense ministers because what ends up happening is defense ministers -- we need to get a sense in which the old government -- it is an issue. it will always be an issue when there is the kind of economic pressure and it is important to focus on this issue but we have seen even as european governments grapple with this that there is a sincere effort to -- we have a very good dialogue with our colleagues in the u.k. about how they were thinking about productions if they had to make them to make sure they were thoughtful, they didn't undermine the alliance and complement to what others were doing. there are ways to work together with this between britain and
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france, better cooperation and thinking of ways of duplication. we have to be smart about this and have a common obligation. >> do you want to? >> one, and to make. one of the many jobs i have is to share the defense minister's development. it is really important that one of the effect of the treaty in my job is the opportunity to collaborate better in europe on defense issues and that lead to bilateral agreements like the u.k. france initiative but also border initiative about how do we use resources in a smarter way? verrazzano question it is not just about the money. it is a what is it we want to do? what should our role be and how we do that? all those conversations go on trans-atlantic because it is so important to get that right.
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>> a new member of nato participating in different operations. it is very important to say that nato is not only military but political organization. if political goals are acceptable for member countries than military participation will be better participating in the other operations and there are other operations in the region as well. we are organizing together with neighboring countries, common forces to participate. it is important but the same time participating in nato goals and in our regional goals as well. they are going to support membership of bosnia and herzegovina as much as possible. >> we are one minute left to our time. i will give the final word. when you tell me how you want to wrap up what we said today.
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when do you hope to be in the eu? >> i hope this is the case. there's a tailor-made problem for us, bosnia, in areas where you can't leave together. something special should be done. this is my message. >> all right. thank you very much for joining us. [applause] >> president clinton is going to come up and wrapped up this wonderful couple of panels.
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[applause] >> thank you. >> i think we should give our panelists the agreement we made about military force briefly in bosnia
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sort of set a template for how we would deal with the other challenges and crazies and opportunities throughout the administration's eight years. the interplay of conflict in the region really is a microcosm of what was going on in the world in the 1990s and continues today. basically the world of ever more interdependent in ways that are both positive and negative. if you look around this room today i saw students during the break from 40 different countries, most of whom have never been to bosnia. most of whose parents, unless they had university degrees would not have been able to find the balkans on a map. it is a metaphor for the
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positive aspects of the interdependent world. the fact the we know and feel some identity with all those people asking for personal and political liberty in egypt is a metaphor for that. i think it is also quite obvious what the negative implications of the independent world are. and i thought from the beginning that the post cold war world would be in a constant race between those who were trying to build the positive and reduce the negative and those on the other side and that we had to find a way to work together that would bring about shared benefits, shared responsibility, and shared sense of community. you heard them in the beginning,
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the principal defect of the course is it was fought to protect the legitimate, distinct interests in the various ethnic groups and their accumulated and understandable peers by giving them all veto power over each other. we got better at that as we went along. compared dayton to the irish peace agreement where the parties themselves have come a very long way. these people quit killing each other and made an agreement. there was no readjustment time. in the irish case where they have been carrying on for 30 years the people got a head of the politicians and told them to
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stop. the politicians decided to stop and they created instead of a negative sense of shared authority a positive one. shared economic benefits and a shared relation with their new neighbors, united kingdom and the irish republic. what we need to do is help them overcome the sort of built-in veto by s that alija izetbegovic talked-about and they have been doing a good job on their own. they are just two and the rest
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of us help. i see this all the time. there are other places in the world where the political system is devised in favor of stopping rather than empowering people to shared the future together. eyes of one more poll this last week just taken in israel showing that 65% of the israelis including over 60% of members of two parties which support a peace agreement which had a palestinian state and the west bank to take her coat of the israeli settlement and international oversight of the holy sites in the old city of jerusalem. we know what it would have to be. but the political system works for reasons with nothing to do with this is hard to produce a government that reflects that 65% so you see this all around
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the world. interestingly enough a country that has gone farthest to stop anything like this from happening was harshly criticized last year during its election season for doing so. rwanda. and rwanda, conclusion of military action, with a dominant role with a new constitution. these are the principal victims. they are so allergic to what they lend to through, their bosnia or kosovo that it is illegal to run for office and
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ethnic issues and to even talk about the distinct claims of ethnic backgrounds. one lady came a man was subject to arrest and not allowed to run for president because she wanted to run on a platform that said the hutu had legitimate ethnically defined grievances. it is very popular in part because once they got on to their common future, they hatta per-capita income of $698 to $1,100 in 2010. these talked about the positive things they talked about. there has to be an area where no
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one is prepared to do what rwanda has done or what people want to recognize both of their separateness and participation in the larger community. it is interesting because the rwandans do acknowledge their history. they have a gripping holocaust museum. they made it impossible to repeat it. later they have and maybe they haven't. my instinct is what the irish tried to do or what the lebanese tried do i think would work if everyone would leave them alone but lebanon has a very complicated religious and ethnic cultural landscape in which the sunni muslims get the prime minister's shipped and shia is the speaker of the house and a christian is the president. they allocate this and this is
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the way they share power but try to create a system in which is in their interests to get something done instead of your interest to veto. we need to try to help that happen in the balkans in law or in effect. the second point i would like to make is we spend all our time here talking about what governments can do. i think that is important. i also think i should take some to my current life, one of the most important things we can do in the european context is to try to help build a civil society and non-governmental contracts that will create a context, where they can succeed. in which a serbian president could take the lead.
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to promote reconciliation in which a bosnian serb could survive politically doing the decent thing and saying let's figure out how to scare the future here. at least for me we want to help build civil society to help that. someone else has all the influence. as a lot of you know, is a global initiative and the you and every year and we have $63 billion worth of commitments in the last 6 years. we have our first 2011 commitment. our nation's largest service organization, with support from the rock wall brothers fund has agreed to host the delegation of community, civic and youth
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leaders from bosnia and connect them with counterparts in the united states to share models and approaches for doing citizens service, engaging citizenry, supporting political reform and economic advancement and they are coming here and that is important. we have to help build a supporter of civil society for doing positive things. one of the things the learned and i see it happen is you organize the politics in a certain way, even if the people don't feel that way all the research shows that the people in bosnia-herzegovina and croatia and serbia think that their past ethnic and fights are almost no importance compared to their sense of having to create a bad economic future and
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educational opportunities, building a modern future represented by the young people in this room today. i will do everything i can with this project and i urge all of you to think about what you can do. finally let me just say on the discussion that kathy and jim were having about the role of the united states and what christiane amanpour said, we have the biggest census in the american government for praising the role of diplomacy, development across the whole government. it is recognized as important to our national security by bob gates who has been wonderful. always found in my experience the defense secretary consistently advocated for a bigger development budget for the state department. because he believes it.
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we have seen in president obama's administration the economic agencies all recognizing this is central to america's ability to increase exports and increase our economic standing in the world to do this kind of investment. and we have made almost no progress in congress. the last election signals a big move the other way. madeleine albright and sandy and robert talking about how to preserve what we have. why is that? that is an area of democratic politics. if you took a poll and asked the american people how much of our budget we should spend on development assistance they would say between 3% and 5%, no more. how much do you think we spend? 10% or 15%.
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too much. we spend 1% or less. no matter how many times we say it, it doesn't register. so even though every member of the united states congress knows that they can safely vote for a good budget they also know that they will never be defeated for voting against one. for all of you who are americans i ask you to think about that. when you want to sustain the effort in afghanistan i agree with much of what peter galbraith said about our needing a partner but we have to prove our good faith that we are not just interested in doing what happened to them in the 1980s when we were only too happy to dance with them until the soviet union left and we left and the wooley way you can stay after a war is over is to help people build a better future for their kids.
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there's almost no support now. you can say all you want about the current economic climate but the hold discretionary spending in government is 15% of the total. all the costs driving the deficit are on health care and defense. mostly just health-care. we should not do this. we should not back away from our responsibilities to bosnia, croatians, the balkans or the future. but we need your help in saying to members of congress. they don't spend nearly as much as you think. they spend 3% of the budget, what we spend. but we spend 10 so that is consistently on this. the final thing i want to say is this.
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the balkans are hopeful and cautionary tale of the modern world. everyone heeds a sense of identity. it is tangible, african and latin americans. student teachers. our whole mind work to categorize a blurred reality in the categories. then humanity gets in trouble when categories become more important than the underlying humanity. all this genome research shows we are 95% the same.
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the balkans where a searing experience for me because here were people who were biologically indistinguishable who were of different religious faiths and cultural divisions because one accident of history where the ottoman empire stopped and the roman empire stopped and the islamic empire stopped. and all of a sudden that was all that mattered. it mattered so much that people could kill each other and have no regard for whether their children lived or died. and so i think that that is at the root of all the problems everywhere else. that lead to violence. many years ago i read a book of years ago by robert wright who is most famous for having written the moral animal which was about our impulse to be ethical in relations with one
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another. he wrote a book called nonzero. that is a phrase from game of the robot -- theory. you can win without someone else losing. we love 0-sum games. that is the super bowl. or basketball where they play 12 overtimes. there has to be a loser. it is nice for sports. in the world we're living in we need more non 0-sum games. and the reason we admire presidents these days is whether we are conscious of it or not, they have had enough life experience and have seen enough people die and they have learned enough that they believe they can share the future and the only way they can win is a very day non 0-sum game.
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that is a test in sudan as they deal with the aftermath of the election. it is the test that faces people everywhere. in a larger sense the balkans will always be relevant and dayton will always be relevant because it was the post cold war world. the first brave effort to prove that we can live in an environment in which we can all win. i still hope we make it and i still fear we have to prove it. thank you very much. [applause] c >> c-span2, one of c-span's public affairs offering. live coverage of the u.s. senate and booktv. 48 hours of the latest nonfiction authors and books. connect with us on twitter,
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facebook and youtube. and scandal alert e-mails on >> the u.s. set about to gavel in to start the day. first of, business speeches on any topic. they will speak for an hour before turning to legislative work. on the calendar for debate on of past overhaul bill. votes are expected throughout the day. senators will break between 12:30 and 4:15 to 10 their weekly party caucus lungees. now live to the senate floor on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. o god of time and eternity, we
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come to you not because we are perfect, but because we trust your mercy and kindness. by your grace we are able to triumph over evil, living no longer for ourselves alone but for you. give our senators a vision of the goals that produce righteousness, honor, justice, understanding, and peace. empower them to serve the less fortunate, to bear the burdens of freedom, and to labor for your glory. lord, help them to know the constancy of your presence, to
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give primacy to prayer, as they work. give them the gifts of your light and love. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, march 1, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1,
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paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable jeanne shaheen, a senator from the state of new hampshire, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following any leader remarks, there will be a period of morning business for an hour, senators will be permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each during that period of time. the majority will control the first 30 minutes. the republicans will control the final 30 minutes. following moshings the senate will resume consideration of s. 23, the patent reform bill. the senate will recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for our weekly caucus meetings. senators should expect roll call votes in relation to amendments to the patent reform bill throughout the day. madam president, i'll ask unanimous consent that senator toomey of pennsylvania be permitted to speak as if in morning business at 2:15 p.m. for up to 15 minutes in order to deliver his maiden speech in the united states senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i i understand that
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h.r. 1 is due for its second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the bill for the second time. the clerk: h.r. 1, an act making appropriations for the department of defense and other departments and agencie agenciee government for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2011, and for other purposes. mr. reid: madam president, we have before us today an extremely important piece of legislation. it's called the america invents act of 2011. the reason i emphasize "2011," its eight been almost 60 years since we had the most meaningful reforms of the nation's patent system. we have tried on many occasions in recent years to get this bill on the senate floor. the judiciary committee has reported out a number of bills over the years, and we've taken no action here on the senate floor for a number of reasons. but it's now on the floor. there are a couple of issues that are going to be -- that
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attention will be directed to. there are senators that have amendments in relation to this bill that i have called. only two are meaningful, but i'm sure there are others. one of the first amendments filed is one that has nothing to do with patent reform and we'll dispose of that. but i think it's important that we understand that this bill, if we do it right, will create millions of jobs. some estimates suggest literally millions of new jobs could be created through this reform. not every patent creates a job or generates economic value. some are worth thousands and thousands of jobs. jack kilbe's patent for a semiconductor is an example of that. steve wozniak's patent for a personal computer in 1979.
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it is hard to estimate how many jobs were created by patents. but there are thousands of patent backlogs that we have to dispose of. we have issues that the republican leader and i have worked to move forward and the first issue at hand that deals with funding the government is the c.r. we're looking to figure out a way to do the short-term c.r. the president has said -- and we'll hear this from him rather than from us -- that we can't continue to have these short-term c.r.'s. the way that's going to be done is on a bipartisan basis. we would hope that's the case. no one benefits from a shutdown of the government, partial or otherwise. i look forward to our work on this bill. until we have something to work on, the house is going to pass a
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short-term c.r. said. until we have something actually to work on, tweendz focus attention on -- we need to focus attention on this patent bill, which is so very, very important. i would say thatc that i've intd a measure that we could work off of. we have also -- rule 14, second reading on a matter for a full-year continuing resolution. it's h.r. 1 that comes from the house. i think it is pretty clear that that won't pass. but it shows we're frying to move forward. the house is going to act on something today, but at least my revenue measure on the floor indicating to the republican leader my intentions of moving forward on that. so it's important we work together to get this done. the current funding for the government runs out this friday. so i look forward to everyone working hard on the patent bill.
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and when we're in a position to move forward on funding the government, we'll move forward on that just as rapidly as we can. we know we have to do it this week. madam president, in relation to h.r. 1, i object to any further proceedings on the bill at this time. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will be placed on the calendar under rule 14. mr. mcconnell: madam president 134. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: later today the house of representatives will take an important vote. it is a vote on whether lawmakers in washington should continue to be exempt from the rules. over the past two years millions of americans have lost jobs and homes. tragicly, many have stopped looking for work altogether. they think the situation won't
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improve. and when one considers how democrats in washington have responded to this historic jobs crisis, it's no wonder. for two years democrats in washington have pushed one proposal after another that has kept the economy from growing and stifled the creation of new good private-sector jobs. they've tried to tax energy consumption. they've picked winners and losers in industry. they've handcuffed small business owners with a mountain of stifling regulations including a health care bill that nonpartisan experts predict could lead to hundreds of thousands of more lost jobs. and earlier this month, at a time when economists say rising gas prices could delay an economic recovery even longer, democrats proposed -- get this -- a change in the current tax laws that would amount to a new tax on everyone who drives a car or a truck in america. a mini van tax. so while the america the americe
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have been begging the government to create private-sector jobs, democrats in washington have been focused singlemindedly on growing government instead. in order to do it, they've basically exempted themselves from the rules. they've sthaid while the rest of the -- they've sthaid while the rest of the country has had to tighten its best in a down economy, washington can continue on a spending bing in order to grow the government. they've said while american families have had to -- they've said that while most americans struggle to make ends meet, they don't have to. that's what this afternoon's vote in the house is all about. this bill should not be controversial. it's only become controversial because democratic leaders in congress have resisted every effort -- every effort -- to rein in the spending birng. this -- the, as amended,ing binge p. this bill proposes to cut
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spending by $4 billion. and they've fought it tooth and nail. they've refused to admit that washington has a spending problem. but the verdict is in. for two years democrats in washington have spent trillions more than we had in the treasury, and if expanding the size and scope of government was the goal, it was a big success. but if helping the economy and helping people find jobs was the goal, it's been a disaster. what has $3 trillion more in debt gotten us? 3 moll more lost jobs. -- 3 million more lost jobs. tonight's vote is an opportunity for the house democrats to admit that the status quo isn't working. it is a chance to take a small first chance towards growing the economy and helping create jobs. later this week disems in the senate will have the same opportunity so that they get it. americans are watching. they want us to being a nog that -- they want us to bein acknowle
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that we need to play by the same rules. we need to tighten our belts and show we're in this together. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum quorum quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: is there a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes. mrs. boxer: i ask that it be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the majority controlling the first half and the republicans control
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controlling the final half. the senator from california. mrs. boxer: thank you very much. senator reid has told me that i have 30 minutes, so we'll start that at this time. and, madam president, you know, we're in a very difficult time right now, because we are getting out of it the deepest recession since the great depression, and if you go back and just look at the headlines when our president was inaugurated and see the pace of job loss and see what happened to credit and see what happened to the auto industry and see what happened to the stock market, madam president, eventually lost about 50% from its highs, and now we're in a situation where we have this economic recovery starting, the
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jobs are not coming as fast as we want. we don't want to do anything to threaten that economic recovery, which threatens our families, threatens the middle class. this is not the time to hurt the middle class. and what we see in wisconsin is the middle class finally saying to the governor there, look, be fair to us. we are willing to give up pay. we are willing to pay more for our benefits. but don't destroy our ability to have a say in our lives. so, as this economic recovery plays out and we have to deal with deficits that have come about because of this terrible recession, fewer revenues coming into the federal government, more people calling on programs to help them -- unemployment insurance and food stamps, the things they need to stay alive
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-- we have to deal with our deficit. there's no question about that. we have to do it like grown-ups. we have to do it with common sense. we don't want to take a meat ax to this recovery and wind up losing jobs, jobs, jobs. now, this last election was all about jobs. it really was. i was out there. i could tell you. and my republican opponent every day said, senator boxer, where are the jobs? where are the jobs? and that was a legitimate question. and i answered it this way: it's taking too long to get these jobs back where they should be, but i'm going to fight every day for jobs. and when i see a proposal that's going to threaten jobs, i'm going to talk about it, and i'm
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going to get to the republican proposal for the rest of this year, the 2011, their budget proposal which experts like mark zandi, republican experts who advise republican candidates. mark zandi advised john mccain. he says, as well as goldman sachs says, if you pass the republican budget plan, you endanger 700,000 jobs. so what do we do? we have to cut spending, yes. we have to do it wisely. we have to sit together and discuss it, not say my way or the highway. here's the bill, don't talk to me. and i think it's important, as we hear the majority leader address his comments to the democratic side, i want to
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address some comments to the republican side. when george bush was elected president, president bill clinton handed him a $236 billion budget surplus. now i'm proud to s i served at that time, and i voted for the democratic budget, the clinton budget. what did it accomplish? quite a bit. not only a balanced budget, but a surplus. there were those on the other side calling for an amendment to the constitution for a balanced budget. we said we don't need an amendment to the constitution. we just need to balance the budget and do it in a wise way. and we did it in a wise way. we cut out unnecessary spending, but we invested in things that created jobs. and guess what? we said to the upper-income people of $1 million or more, you've got to pay your fair
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share. they were willing to do it. they were able to do it. and we created not only surpluses in this federal government, but 23 million new jobs. let me say that again. we created a surplus -- not only a balanced budget, a surplus, but 23 million new jobs. now the republicans take over, and when george bush leaves office, he created 1 million jobs in eight years compared to 23 million. and guess what? he left us a $1.3 trillion deficit. and i say to my friends here, he left the wars off budget. so it was even way higher than that. he didn't put the two wars on the budget. now, president bush in the short time he's been in office created more jobs than george bush did.
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president bush has created already under his presidency 1.1 million new jobs. so the new jobs under obama equal the net jobs of george bush after eight years. so president bush inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit from george bush, who had created that from a surplus. it's important that we follow this. george bush created a million jobs net compared to 23 million jobs under bill clinton. and president bush inherits the worst recession since the great depression. credit frozen, 700,000 jobs a
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month lost, panic on wall street; you name it. auto industry going out. we would have been the only leader in the industrialized world not to have an auto industry. and it is fair to say things have stabilized. the auto industry had the best year in a long time. the money we loaned to the banks has been paid back. but we have more to do. we need to deal -- the deficit is now up to $1.6 trillion because the wars are now on the budget, because we still haven't made up for the revenues that we lost, and the jobs are coming back too slowly. so this is where we stand. we have to pass a budget for the remainder of this year, and democrats are saying let's do it wisely. we will cut, cut, cut.
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and we have a list of cuts we could go over. we cut $40 billion from the president's 2011 budget. the republicans cut $100 billion from the president's budget. so surely between the $40 billion that we cut and the $100 billion they cut, we can meet and solve this problem. and i'd like us to do it right now, sit down in good faith and get it done. and scratch any of the cuts that hurt our children. scratch the cuts that hurt our women's health. scratch the cuts that are essentially political vendettas. and i'll go into those later. and come up with the cuts that don't threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs. but here's the deal. there's still talk and fear about a government shutdown. and every time we think we've passed the point comes another article.
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today in "the washington post," i ask unanimous consent to place that article in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: front page: with shutdown looming, g.o.p. freshmen are wild cards. and when you ask the republican, republican members of the house where this is going, they'd say we really don't know. the government could shut down. we really don't know. and i'll go into later what happened the last time the government shut down. i won't do that at this moment. but i talked to senator casey, my good colleague and great leader in the senate, about an anomaly in the law which protects members of congress from getting their pay shut down in the case of a government shutdown when the vast majority of federal workers will not get paid. and he and i agreed there is something wrong with this system. it isn't fair.
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if we fail to keep this government operating, which is our basic responsibility, to keep the checks flowing to social security recipients, to veterans with disabilities, to make sure that we don't harm the private sector, the contractors and workers, if we don't do that, we don't deserve to get our pay. so we put together a bill that says in the case of a government shutdown, members of congress and the president must be treated the same way as other federal employees. and, by the way, not get back our pay retroactively. and, it touched a cord with several of our colleagues, and we have the bill written and we have sent it to the republican side and the democratic side. my understanding is it has passed the democratic side via hotline, and the republicans are looking at it now. the cosponsors of this bill are
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boxer, casey, manchin, tester, bennett, warner, wyden, coons, hagan, menendez, stabenow and rockefeller. we feel we have touched a cord with people, and we are hopeful and very hopeful we will avert a government shutdown because it is bad for our country, it is bad for our families, it is bad for our states. and there's no need to have one. but if we do have one, we don't want to have members of congress go home, get their pay and just not even have to pay a price or sacrifice or anything else while other families are sacrificing. and we hope our republican friends will agree with us. and if they do, we're going to send it over tonight. we're not asking for unanimous consent right now. we are at 4:00. if they can go forward, we will
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send this bill proudly over to speaker boehner in the hopes that it will tpwraoez through the house -- breeze through the house. then in case of a government shutdown, which we all hope will be averted, we are treated the same as federal employees and we're not sitting there getting our paychecks when others are not. with that, i would yield the floor, to senator casey for as long as he'd like it. mr. casey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: thank you, madam president. i just want to take a couple of moments, first of all, to express gratitude. i think people across the country will be -- if we can get this done will express gratitude as well. in a time when the economy is still recovering and there's good news that the recovery is moving at a faster rate than it was a year ago and certainly the
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fastest since six months ago, and i want to talk about that for a moment. but i do want to express gratitude to senator boxer for her leadership on this issue. all she's saying, all we're saying together as she did in the mid-1990's when this came up at the time of that shutdown was that members of congress have to play by the same rules that everyone else who dependents upon the federal government for a program or for their pay, that we play by the same rules. i want to commend senator boxer's leadership again as she demonstrated all those years ago when at the time it passed but it was taken out in a conference committee. but i believe that if members of congress are going to be deciding whether the government continues to operate or whether it shuts down, they've got to play by the same set of rules. i mentioned the economy because this has a direct connection to why we're discussing this today.
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we have, as i said, a recovering economy. in pennsylvania there's data to show that. we were addressing this to senator boxer because i know in california the unemployment rate has been high. it was high for a long period of time in pennsylvania. it is still high but in a relative place lower than a lot of states. we're at 535,000 people out of work. an incredibley high number. that number was higher this past summer. we were approaching 600,000 people out of work. now we're below 540,000 at last count, and i hope we're still moving in that direction when we see the monthly numbers again. we have a recovering economy. we also have very high deficits and debt. the american people are worried about justifiably. i have no doubt that when we continue to work together in the
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senate -- i hope this happens in the house as well -- we can come to consensus about the 2011 budget, which is where most of the attention is right now, the 2012 budget, but also longer term in terms of how we reduce deficit and debt. but along the way, if members of congress are going to vote for a shutdown, they shouldn't be paid their salary while that shutdown is in effect. it's really about some basic values, i think. it's about accountability, not having one set of rules for members of congress and another set of rules for the american people. it's also about playing by the rules. we have to play by the same rules that we vote to attach to what happens in the federal government. and finally, i think it's about restoring or beginning to restore some of the basic trust that we hope the american people
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will have in their government. that trust, that faith that keeps our democracy together can be badly broken if we have members of congress voting for a shutdown but still getting their pay after the shutdown is in effect. finally i would say this, it's about a basic value called fairness. people expect us to be fair. and we cannot say to the american people that a member of congress who's voting to shut down the government and all the implications of that, all the instability that would create, but then in the same breath say but i still want to get the pay that i have as a federal employee. so it is about accountability, trust and fairness. and i want to commend senator boxer for once again showing the leadership that she demonstrated back in the mid-1990's on this
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issue and again making it very clear that we're going to do everything we can to live by the same rules. if there is a shut down, then our pay should be shut down. and with that, i would yield the floor. mrs. boxer: madam president, how much time remains on our leader time? the presiding officer: 12 minutes, 45 seconds. mrs. boxer: thank you, madam president. i want to thank the senator from pennsylvania for working hard on this piece of legislation. it's very, very simple. no budget, no pay. that's it. can't have no function of government more important than passing a budget and keeping us going. and the people have a right to expect that we will do our work. social security checks, if there is a shutdown, may not arrive on time. veterans may not receive the benefits they've earned.
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passports may not be issued. superfund sites won't be cleaned up, and those are dangerous. oil wells should be inspected. we see what happens when we don't do the functions of government. we pay. our people pay. export licenses must be granted, troops must be paid, and failing to keep the government open because of politics or because no one wants to listen to the other side and meet in the middle -- that's a failure. and all we're saying is, treat members of congress and the president the same as other federal employees, and no retroactive back pay either. now, the bigger issue is the one i touched upon, and that is, you know, what is the right way to approach this deficit problem? and clearly we have to do it responsibly. and clearly the american people
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want us to reduce this deficit. i want to reduce it. and i have to say, very proudly, not only did i reduce it under bill clinton, but we had surpluses. that's the only time we ever had a surplus. a democratic administration, okay? that's it. i don't understand lectures from the other side of the aisle. show me a time when they balanced the budget. they don't have one to show me. they can show me the record under george w. bush and george herbert walker bush deficits. deficits, deficits, deficits. and under george bush, job losses, over the entire eight years 1 million net new jobs compared to 23 million under bill cline continue. what a record.
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-- under bill clinton. what a record. so let's do it the way we know it should be done, which is a balanced approach. cut spending where it is usele useless, dumb to spend money. spend it where i it makes sense- on our kids. the things my colleagues in the house did without one democratic vote are shocking, and the experts tell us, we could lose between 700,000 and 1 million jobs. between 700,000 and 1 million jobs if we go with their package. so they need to sit and talk us to. let us reason together. they cut $100 billion off the president's budget. we've already cut -- we've already cut $40 million. let's meet in the middle. but let's not threaten as many as a million jobs. moody's estimate it would destroy 700 millio,000 jobs.
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it's inconceivable, after they ran around in this last election saying, where are the jobs, where are the jobs -- that's all i heard -- and it was a good point. but it's inconceivable they would turn their backs on jobs and now focus on the deficit, as if that's the only issue we have to worry about. again, when the president took office, president obama, the economy was heading off a clirvetion and i'll never forget -- was heading off a cliff, and i'll never forget hank paulson looking straight into my eyes -- and that was hard because he was a 7 feet tall and i'm a little over five feet -- senator, capital tailism is on the -- capitalism is on the brink of collapse. i remember back to the debates then, one of my republican colleagues suggested nationalizing the banks.
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president obama said, no, we're not going there. we're going to have to figure out a way. and yes we did lend out the money. they've paid it back, every penney, the banks did. the auto industry -- oh, my colleagues, oh, we can't help the auto industry. yes, we did. we didn't want to be the only western power that didn't have an automobile industry. it is important to our national defense. we stablized the auto industry. we've stablized the financial industry. we approved tax cuts for the middle class, and we made investments in infrastructure, and, yes, it is true, job took a big surplus, state your named it into a -- turned it into ads 1.4 trillion -- is that right? -- $1.3 trillion deficit. the deficit snods 1.6 trillion, as we -- the deficit now is $1.6 trillion, as we struggle out of this economic mire that we're
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in. by the way, ending the wars in afghanistan and iraq over ten years could get us $1.1 trillion. i haven't heard any of my republican friends go there at all with that. we need to do that. so they're just looking at one small part of the budget. and i have to tell you from my heart what i think they did over there. cut $100 billion o'off the president budget. this is what they d i believe they used deficit reduction as an excuse to carry out political vendettas. -- against the environmental protection agency. they not only took a meat ax to that budget, but they ordered the e.p.a. -- they said, you cannot protect families from pollution from cement plants. you cannot do that. that means our people will be
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exposed to mercury. they said, you cannot enforce the clean air act when it comes to carbon pollution. imagine! they don't dare come here and say, let's repeal the clean air act. they go around the back door using the budget as a political vendetta tool. they said, let's stop our improvements in food safety. now, i got to ska, not one person in my home state ever came up to me -- i don't care if they're republican, democrat, independent -- senator, the two things i want you to do is give me dirty air and give me poisoned food. i really need more contamination in my food. i can't believe this. we just did a great bill and they slashed the money for food safety. you tell me how that makes america stronger? you tell me when we know how many people die of food -- of illnesses from contaminated
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food. they did a political vendetta against family planning, which is going to lead to more abortions, if it goes through. we will, it's not going to go through, because we're not going to let them stop ensuring that american women in this day and age -- they're not going to tell me people in california they can't have access to contraception. and yet they cut every penney from planned parenthood in a clear, i believe, unconstitutional political have vendetta. five million men and women get the services of planned parenthood. they get tested for s.t.d.'s, aids, cancer screenings -- all of that. and a lot of the women use planned parenthood clinics as their first line of health care. this is 2011. we are not going back to the dark days when women died because they didn't have health care. we can't. we can't do it.
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so drop the political vendettas, come to the table, and let's find the cuts that make sense and put a little more faith in our democratic colleaguesings sinccolleaguesings --in your de, since we're the only ones that balanced the budget. i don't need to hear lectures about it. you can talk all you want. the last balanced budget was under bill clinton. the last surplus was under bill clinton. the last great economic growth was under bill clinton. and our president gets it. that's why he tackles this deficit over a period of time and gets it down to $600 billion by 2015. now maybe we can do more -- and i'm ready to do more -- and we will do more if we have an economic recovery. we won't if we lose another a million jobs and have another million people getting help from
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us rather than having jobs and keeping their homes and all the rest. what other vendettas? this one -- the corporation for public broadcasting. somebody said, four hours of the war in afghanistan would be equal to the cut they made to public broadcasting, four hours of the war in afghanistan. america, we should be proud of the corporation for public broadcasting. we go toe to toe with the b.b.c. the b.b.c. funds -- great britain funds 100% of the bbc. we fund 15% of public broadcasting. but now they want to zero it out, a vendetta against elmo. they have a vendetta against health reform. and, you know, the president is
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right. in our bill we say, the states can do another plan. let's push that up to 2014. don't go back to the days when 62% of all bankruptcy were linked to a health care crisis. madam president, how much time do i have? the presiding officer: a minute and 45 seconds. mrs. boxer: they have a vendetta against clean energy. i guess they want to keep dependence on foreign oil. we will, i don't and my people don't and we don't enjoy $5-a-gallon gas, which is where it is heading -- maybe. -- because of the unrest in the middle east. we need alternatives, clean cars, cars that go 50-60 miles a gallon or don't need any gas at all. oh, they cut that. and they cut head start and our little kids won't have the head start. what are they doing? it makes no sense. every dollar you put into this
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early childhood education saves $10. what are they doing? and pell grants. so there are so many other ways to proceed. do you know, if we just looked at the tax loopholes given to corporations who shipped jobs overseas, it is over$140 billion over ten years. let's take a look at that. let's take a look at that. let's take a look at the billionaires. why do we have to ask little kids to give up a slot in head start and get that head start they need? why do we have to ask our teenagers to give up on going to college? that's what their budget does. for no reason at all. so let's avert a government shutdown by coming together. i'm willing to move in their
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direction. they've got to be willing to move to mine. again, they cut $100 billion off the president's busmght we cut $-- off the president's busmght we cut $40 billion. let's meet in the middle. let's meet in the middle. let's put this 2011 budget issue behind us quickly. let's move on to the long-term deficit reduction and job creation, and if we fail, let us not get paid for our work here and this afternoon i'll be back to ask unanimous consent -- no budget, no pay. thank you very much, madam president. and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: madam presiden president, i appreciate the comments of my frerntiondz the senator from california -- of my friend, the senator from california. we have to be serious about the
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country's debt. admiral mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says debt is our biggest national security threat. anyone in my state looks what the we are spending in washington and is astonished. i mean, we're spending this year $3.7 trillion. we're collecting $2.2 trillion. so the house of representatives s. has said, let's take a step -- a serious step -- for dealing with that debt. i applaud them for that. that number is a number that we on the republican side are going to try to support in the senate. we may have our own priorities within that reduced number. but we need to get serious about the entire -- the entire problem of america's debt. it goes directly also to the problem of jobs that we have in our country today. the last democratic congress and the president's policies have thrown a big, wet blanket on private-sector job creation in
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america. and one of the biggest parts of the wet blanket is the big debt. according to aeconomists, it costs us -- according to economists, it costs us a million jobs a year. the big debt creates the potential for higher interest rates. that makes it harder to create jobs. it soaks up capital that could be used to create jobs t creates uncertainty, it creates a lack of confidence. there's a lot of spirit in this senate to find a consensus on how to deal with the debt. i want to be one of those who does that. and i look forward to a serious discussion of those efforts. madam president, in jerusalem last week during a private meeting with the united states senators, the prime minister of israel suggested creating a new marshall plan to help people of middle eastern countries who are struggling to gain more freedom. i was one of the senators in that meeting. in one important way prime
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minister netanyahu's proposal is different from the plan that helped rebuild western europe after world war ii. its funding would not come from the united states government but from private gifts and foundations worldwide. instead of the money going for rebuilding bombed-out industrial plants and roads as it did after world war ii, it would more likely be spent in the middle east now on schools, on health clinics and on clean water. fundamentally, though, the plans are very similar. both general george c. marshall in 1947 and prime minister netanyahu today proposed helping adversaries as well as allies, both aimed to relieve hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. both proposals are based squarely on self-interest as antidotes to the spread of philosophies unfriendly to democracy, communism in the case
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of postwar europe and militant islam in the middle east today. in both cases applicants for the money would write their own plans. in 1948, 16 nations met in paris to develop the marshall plan. president truman then submitted it for approval to the united states congress. most of the money was distributed by grants that did not have to be repaid. the first marshall plan was short term, from 1948 to 1952, and so should be this new marshall plan. the goal is not to create depend seus but to help people stand on their own. there are some important differences between the idea of the marshall plan after world war ii and prime minister netanyahu's proposal for the middle east. the new middle east marshall plan would cost much less. the original marshall plan spent with between $115 billion and
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$130 billion in today's dollars over those four years. if a middle eastern plan carefully distributed a few billion dollars over five years, it could have an enormous impact. the marshall plan started out after world war ii buying food and fuel and ended up rebuilding bombed-out industrial plants, roads and other infrastructure. in addition to schools and clinics, a middle eastern marshall plan is more likely to spend money on, for example, a crop of young people who are paid a subsistence wage to strengthen their own country. marshall plan money twoepbt 16 you're -- went to 16 european governments. money for a middle eastern plan should probably be distributed through nongovernmental organizations. after world war 24 there was an effort to impose on europe and japan the american model. we should have learned by now
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that the path to democracy in the middle east is more likely to be uniquely middle eastern. the original marshall plan was paid for mostly by united states taxpayers. money for this new plan should come from around the world, mostly from private gifts. the first marshall plan was used mostly for purchase of goods from the united states. today those goods would be purchased from around the world. what are the next steps? first, a coalition of foundations should step forward and announce its willingness to consider proposals from egypt and other middle eastern countries that would assist a transition to a more democratic form of government. second, the first grant should be quickly approved, probably to nongovernmental organizations already in place. the original marshall plan moved
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slowly. in this age of instant communication, freedom fighters expect immediate results. some evidence of improvement in their lives could help sustain a movement toward democracy against the lure of militant islam. an early state department memorandum compared general marshal's proposal to a flying saucer. "nobody knows what it looks like. nobody knows how big it is. and nobody knows whether it really exists." unquote. prime minister netanyahu's proposal also is usefully vague. with details to be filled in later by applicants for grants. but shouldn't it be enough simply to propose helping people struggling for freedom based upon the belief that their success will benefit other
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democratic countries, including the united states and israel? now, madam president, if i may turn to another subject, in rochester, new york, today and tomorrow family and friends are celebrating the life of david kearns who died a few days ago at age 80. david kearns was a former chief executive officer of the xerox corporation who during the 1980 led that corporation to win back the copying market from the japanese. along the way he found time to become america's most effective business leader who was a champion of education reform, especially for pushing new technology into schools. he served as deputy education secretary under the first president bush while i was the secretary of education in 1991,
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1992 and 1993. i remember first meeting david kearns in 1990 when i was president of the university of tennessee and had my office in foxville -- in knoxville. he came into my office. on the way he said hello to every single person in the outer office and every single other person he met while i was there. and he remembered every single one of their names. i didn't forget that, and they didn't forget him. when david kearns left the university of tennessee from that visit i bought his book about education reform and read it. later that year president bush called me and asked me to become his education secretary. i asked the president if i could put together my own team subject to his approval and then if we could put together our own plan subject to his approval. two of the smartest questions i ever asked because that meant i didn't have to go through the white house staff to get the team cleared or the policy cleared. i could go directly to the
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president. as soon as i had that permission, i called david kearns and asked him if he would be willing to be the deputy secretary of education in the united states department of education. i knew that would be hard to persuade him to do. he was at the peak of his career. he just retired as one of america's best known business leaders. his friends said why in the world would you go into the government and subject yourself to all that abuse and take a secondary position in a minor department? i asked president bush to recruit him, and he did, appealing to his patriotism. they both served in world war ii. david had such a passion for education that he came on board, and it was terrific that he did. it was a privilege to work with such an accomplished executive. employees in the department of education loved having him around. having him there helped recruit a distinguished team of leaders to the department. and we put together what we thought over two years was a
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pretty impressive program working with president bush. some of the ideas sound very familiar today especially the former governors. one idea was break the mold schools. today we call them charter schools or start from scratch schools. the thought was to have one in each congressional district, 535 of them funded by $1 million of seed money from the government. federal government. to support those schools, we created a new american schools development corporation, and with david's leadership raised $70 million in private capital for that. that attracted hundreds of design teams from around the country with ideas for how to create better schools. president bush hosted a number of america's business leaders in camp david to help make that happen. we worked with diane ravage to create an effort to complement standards fortunate education goals president bush helped to set in 1987 with the nation's
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governors. these were the goals for math, science, english, history and geography and we took important steps toward that. today the common standards that states are adopting boast some of their beginnings to those efforts. we established commissions to look at extending the school day. we pushed for technology in the schools. and the president proposed in 1992 a g.i. bill for kids which would give scholarships to poor kids so they could choose any school, public or private, or religious, so they could have more of the same choices of good schools that kids with money had. by the time we left in 1993, every state in america had their own version of america 2000. it was tennessee 2000 or new hampshire 2000 or kansas 2000. moving toward the educational goals community by community. none of that would have happened without david kearns'
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enthusiasm, skill and leadership. in 1992 during a riot over rodney king in los angeles, president bush sent david to represent him. david had a strong background in civil rights. while he was there, he telephoned me and said this is the hardest phone call i've ever had to make. i have cancer. he just discovered he had cancer of the sinus. he came back and had an operation. the operation gradually destroyed his eyesight. that was 20 years ago, but it didn't stop david kearns. during that time he created a center for leadership at the university of rochester where he graduated and served as trustee for many years. to help him get around because he couldn't see, barely see, ep invited a young man each year to go with him to help him see and help him do what he needed to do. for those young men, nearly 20 over the last 20 years, that has been a remarkable opportunity to
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be in the presence of one of america's great mentors and early stage in their hraoeufplts everyone who -- lives. everyone who knew david kearns admired him and loved him. a few days ago i spoke with shirley kearns, david's wife of 50 kwraoerbgs and reminded her of what she already knows, how much david's friendship means to me. i will be thinking of them today and tomorrow in rochester, will be thinking about shirley, their four daughters, two sons and 18 grandchildren. for me, one story sums of tkaeupd david's life better than others. i think back to when i was in utah. i was trying to persuade republicans i was their natural nominee for president of the united states. i was enthusiastic about that but not successful. i made to a republican group what i thought was an especially good speech. during the speech, i talked
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about my work in the united states department of education and i talked about david kearns, about his leadership, about how he helped do all the things i just mentioned. after the speech an enthusiastic republican lady came up to me and said that was a wonderful speech. thank you very much, i said. now i know who should be president, she said. well, thank you, i said. she smiled and said david kearns. that was the opinion that she and i and almost everyone who met had of david kearns, whose 80 years in this country have been very special. i thank the president. i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. a senator: madam president, are we in morning business? the presiding officer: we are. mr. burr: i thank the president. madam president, i'd like to take a moment in this chamber to honor the passing of the last dough boy, mr. frank buckles, the last of the world war 1 veterans.
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mr. buckles was america's last living world war 1 veteran, and he died sunday in west virginia. his death came one month after his 110th birthday, which he celebrated on february 1 with his family. he was dedicated to serving his country at all cost. frank buckles enlisted in the u.s. army when he was only 16 years old. throughout the great war, mr. buckles proved himself to be a brave soldier. he served on the r.m.s. carpatheon, drove motorycycles in france and england and escorted prisoners of war back to germany. mr. buckles lived to see our country at war several more times in his life. he even survived as a prisoner of war during world war ii. he had been captured while
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working for a shipping company in the philippines. as a soldier and as a civilian, mr. buckles lived a life defined by hard work, love of country, and a sense of duty to his fellow citizens. his passing marks the loss of a generation that shared those same values, a generation that built america into the country it is today. my thoughts go out to his family. it's also important that we recognize that mr. buckles' death is an important moment for all of america. our country should come together to honor mr. buckles and an entire generation that has done so much to build a world where democracy and freedom are celebrated values. this is the reason that i cosponsor with my colleague from west virginia senator rockefeller a resolution that i
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hope our colleagues will support unanimously to allow this last in a generation of heroes to be recognized by the congress of the united states either in a service or by laying in honor in the rotunda, a privilege that is held for very few but one that i think rises to the occasion of the last hero of a generation, an individual and a generation that played such a part in the values of this country. madam president, we will have an opportunity to celebrate the life of this man, but, more importantly, to cherish the fruits of his commitment by those freedoms and those liberties that are protected still today. i yield the floor.
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madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum
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call: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: i ask consent the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of s. 23, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 6, s. 23, a bill to amend title 35, united states code, to provide for patent reform. mr. leahy: madam president, before we begin, i have nine unanimous consent requests for
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committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: i ask unanimous consent they be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. leahy: madam president, yesterday the senate began debate on the america invents act. we adopted the committee amendments and we proceeded to have five additional amendments offered to the bill. this morning i'll be offering a managers' amendment along with the distinguished senator from iowa, senator grassley, that incorporates additional improvements being made to suggestions of senator coburn and senator schumer, senator coons, senator bennett and others. when we adopt this managers' amendment, i believe we will be very close to a consensus bill. the senate can and should pass to help create good jobs, encourage innovation, strengthen
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our recovery and the economy. i ask consent to include in the record a statement of the administration policy for the obama administration. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and i thank all those for the administration who worked on the matter, and in particular the director of the patent and trademark office and former secretary daley, now chief of staff at the white house. the statement describes the bill as representing a fair, balanced and necessary effort to improve patent quality. it concludes, senate passage of this bill is consistent with the administration's commitment to support and encourage innovation to improve competitiveness, economic prosperity and job growth without adding a penny to the deficit. it also notes that the transition simplifies the process of acquiring rights and describes it as an essential
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provision to reduce legal costs, improve fairness and support u.s. innovative seeking to market their products and services in a global marketplace. i agree. i believe it should help small and independent inventors. on president's day just over a week ago, "the new york times" included an article on its front page entitled "u.s. sets 21st century goal," noting a better patent office. that's what we're trying to do with that bill, the bipartisan leahy-grassley reform act or the america invents act. we have to reform our patent office and our patent laws. they haven't been updated for 60 years. we have to help create good jobs, encourage innovation and strengthen our economy. in that article, the reporter notes the growth of patent
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applications to more than 2,000 a day last year. that's not a typographical error. 2,000 a day last year. in a record, 1,000 patents were issued in 2010 but there remains a backlog at the u.s. patent and trademark office. another 5,000 being processed that's 1.2 million applications in the pipeline. among them could be the next medical miracle, the next energy breakthrough, the next leap in computing ability, the next killer app. it really makes no sense, it takes two years for an inventor
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to get initial ruling on his or her patent application and then another year or more to get the patent. "the new york times" reporter notes the delays in inefficiencies are more than a nuisance for inventors. patent delays cost jobs, slow the economy and threaten the ability of american companies to compete with foreign businesses. let me emphasize that last part. threatening the ability of american companies to compete with foreign businesses. madam president, i believe american companies can compete with any company anywhere in the world if we're given the tools to do it. and right now we're hampering american companies from competing worldwide. we're not going to be the leader we are today if we allow that to continue. the senate has before us
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bipartisan legislation that can lead to long-needed improvement in the patent laws. we should be focused on it, moving ahead to pass it without delay. it's to help facilitate innovation and job creation and do so in the private sector. tprefrpb start-ups -- everyone from start-ups and small businesses to large companies. this is a time for the senate not to be playing political games but to serve the interest of the american people by concentrating on the important legislation before us. we should not be distracted. it's a bipartisan bill. we should not be diverted into extraneous issues but focus our debate on those few amendments the senators feel need to be debated to perfect this bill. i mentioned in my opening statement the anticipated amendment on fee diversion. i appreciate the efforts of the
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senator from oklahoma to end patent fee diversion. it is a reform senator hatch and i long supported. i appreciated working with him and withholding his amendment during committee consideration. we also incorporated in the managers amendment an amendment from senator schumer that concerns business method patents. we provide a process for reexamination by the patent and trademark office. this would also improve patent quality. we incorporate suggestions from senator tpwhepbt and senator -- tpwh*epbt and -- senator bennet and senator coons. the administration noted in its statement they would not object to removal of these provisions. senator bennet came forward last night with an amendment to explain along with a change to
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the definition of a microentity made at the suggestion of the minority leader and my amendment to conform the name of the legislation to the america invents act. i hope we adopt this amendment without delay. i understand there may be senators who do not agree with the reform to update and simplify our system. if they attempt to bring an amendment, they should do so without delay because i think the senator from iowa and i would like to wrap up this legislation. those are matters concerning this legislation we can consider, we can resolve with undue delay. we should be able to complete action on this bill today or tomorrow. then the senate can turn its full attention to the funding of this resolution needed to be enacted this week by congress. what we should not do is delay or sacrifice the job-creating potential of this bill to a side debate to such things about the debt limit or whether we amend
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the constitution of the united states. those are debates we'll be happy to have in their own right. let's not allow other countries around the world to have such a competitive advantage because we're too slow in moving on this bill. the bipartisan america invents act is too important to be turned into a mere vehicle to launch speeches or debates about pet causes. it's not the bill to have debates about whether the u.s. were to reach its debt ceiling, the government should be repaying creditors like china before meeting other obligations to the american people. that theoretical debate has nothing to do with patent reform in this bill. it will be a bill you can have a debate on if you want. this bill is one that doesn't spend taxpayers' money or raise the debt one dollar. so i would hope that we can have the support of our lead republican sponsors in the
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bipartisan senate leadership to table extraneous amendments; we can complete our work on this amendment. and i have, madam president, i have a managers' amendment. i described part of it already. i will send it to the desk and ask consent that the pending amendment be set aside and this be considered. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from vermont, mr. leahy, for himself and others proposes an amendment numbered 121. mr. leahy: i ask consent the clerk dispense with the reading. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and i ask for the agreement of the managers' amendment.
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madam president, i'll put -- madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. a senator: i ask the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: i'd like to object. i'd ask the distinguished senator if he'd hold off. the presiding officer: the senator cannot -- mr. leahy: then i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: i ask consent the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. leahy: madam president, i understand senator demint will be offering an amendment to the
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first degree which will require setting aside the managers' amendment. it's my understanding that once he's done that, we'll then set aside his amendment and go back to the managers' amendment. mr. demint: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. demint: i call for regular order and ask to call up amendment number 113 as modified. i ask that the pending amendments be set aside and call up 113 as modified. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from south carolina, mr. demint, for mr. vitter, proposes an amendment numbered 113 as modified. mr. demint: mr. president, i ask to dispense with reading of the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. demint: and i yield the floor. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'd ask consent that the pending amendment now be set aside and
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that the managers' amendment be the pending amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: i rise to speak to the america invents act. this bill is about creating jobs. it is about protecting and promoting american ingenuity and giving american ideas the opportunity to become american products. the america invents act is about restoring american competitiveness and leadership in our global economy. mr. coons: america has been at the forefront of global innovation throughout our nation's great history. we invented the lightning rod,
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the thrasher. edison invented the electric light. electric power france mission, the motion picture camera and x-ray photography. the transistor, g.p. srks kevlar, recombinant d.n.a., all american inventions as we will. recently, american companies have invented the ipod and the segway. americans are working on critical advances in wind turbines, fuel cell technology and electric vehicles. these technical innovations and so many others have improved our standard of living, spurred job growth and given rise to entire industries that would not have been possible without the advancements of applied science. innovation will be the key to igniting the american manufacturing sector. as low-skilled jobs have increasingly moved offshore the only solution is to create
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high-skilled jobs to replace them and these jobs will be founded on american ideas, inventions and advancements. in today's high-tech world however the cost of innovation can be high. in delaware, dupont invests about $1.3 billion annually in research and development. nationwide, according to the oecd, u.s. companies invest over $370 billion in research and development each year. in the pharmaceutical industry, which is also important to my home state, experts estimate each new drug requires an initial investment of between $800 million and $2 billion in critical basic research. innovation then is absolutely essential to the continued growth and competitiveness of our nation. our founding fathers recognized that investment in innovation will not occur without a system of patent rights to allow inventors to reap the fruits of their labor, and they placed with the congress the authority to provide for the issuance of these patent rights. in our constitution, in article
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1, section 8, clause 8, it states that congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. however complicated applied sciences might have been in 1836 when congress first established the forerunner to the patent and trademark office, they are more complicated today. never has the p.t.o. been more essential, more central to ensuring that the system of nationwide patents contemplated by our founding fathers is possible than today. our p.t.o. must have clear objective guidelines that enable an applicant to predict whether his or her application for a patent will be approved. that application process must move expeditiously. and at the end of that process when p.t.o. issues a patent, the inventor and industry must have confidence that the patent is of good quality and will provide good defense against future challenges.
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in recent years however, the patent and trademark office has fallen short of these critical objectives. today a patent applicant must wait over two years before an examiner first even picks up the application. two years. at this very moment more than 700,000 applications simply sit at the patent and trademark office awaiting future consideration. each one of those applications represents an idea that could create a job or ten jobs or 1,000 jobs. if you file a patent application at p.t.o. today, you can expect to wait just over three and a half years for an initial disposition. and should the p.t.o. make an error in their examination, it would take three years more to appeal it. in a world in which start-up companies depend on patents to secure critical venture capital and other funding, these wait times are just too long. and while the p.t.o. director has achieved some critical success and has begun to right the ship at the patent and trademark office, he simply
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can't accomplish acceptable and sustainable reforms without our action here in the senate. the america invents act takes a number of critical steps to improve the efficiency with which this country handles patents, all designed to make the u.s. more competitive in the global economy. mr. president, first the america invents act will give the p.t.o. the tools it needs to address the unacceptably long backlog of patent applications. in february 2009, despite an increasing need for qualified patent examiners, p.t.o. had to institute a hiring freeze. p.t.o. is a user fee-supported organization and i believe it should be able to pass through the cost of staffing needs to patent applicants to ensure these wait times don't continue to grow. this bill would finally give to the p.t.o. the authority to set its own fees rather than having to wait for an act of congress to do so. another source of the backlog is the issue of patent fee diversion, one with which i've long been familiar. currently the fees paid by
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patent applicants for the purpose of funding the cost of examination can be diverted away from the p.t.o. to the treasury without justification by congress. patent fee diversion cripples the ability of the patent and trademark office to do its job and is essentially an unwarranted tax on innovation. in the past 20 years, more than $800 million have been diverted from the patent and trademark office and though in recent years almost no money has been diverted thanks to my colleague, senator mikulski, p.t.o. funding should never depend on shifting political fortunes. the mere possibility of fee diversion is harmful to p.t.o. because it robs the ability of the patent and trademark office to plan with confidence the varying workload will be matched by future funding. this bill does not currently address the issue of patent fee diversion, but that is something i and others are working to change. ending fee diversion is perhaps the single-most effective thing
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we can do. that's why i look forward to supporting dr. coburn's amendment which would ensure the p.t.o. has access to the fees it charges subject to continuing congressional oversight of course. the second thing that the america invents act does to make the united states more competitive is to improve the predictability and accuracy of the patent examination process. by transitioning to a first to file system, this bill will bring the united states patent system into line with the rest of the world. under this first to file system, p.t.o.'s task of determining the priority of a patent application will be more straightforward because patent priority will depend on objective public facts rather than secret individual funds. into those -- to those smaller inventors who are concerned the move to a first to file system will allow larger companies to beat them out in a race to the patent office, this bill contains important protections for all inventors, large or small.
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even under the first to file system contemplated in this act, an inventor's patent priority is protected for a year if he or she is the first to publicly disclose that invention. not only does the america invents act make the patent process fair to inventors, but it will improve the quality of patents issued by the p.t.o. by legislative branching knowledge -- by leveraging knowledge of outside parties. it will enhance the ability of examiners to determine whether an application is truly an innovative idea worthy of the protection of a patent. the bill takes another step forward towards improving patent quality by changing the way issuance of patents can be challenged. the america invents act introduces a nine-month postgrant review process during which third parties can challenge a patent on any grounds. when you combine the new preissuance submission process and the new post grant review process what i believe we'll get is a more rigorous, more
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thorough vetting of patent applications. and i believe as a result we will get stronger, higher-quality patents because of this america invents act. chairman leahy along with his republican is cosponsors, senators hatch, kyl and sessions, i believe deserve enormous credit for the bill that was reported unanimously by we on the judiciary committee just four weeks ago. the america invents act reflects years of hard-fought negotiations between affected stakeholders. at a time when bipartisanship in the senate is too frequently a platitude rather than actual progress, it should be noted the america invents act shares wide bipartisan support. senators from both parties have worked together on the bill that we consider today and both sides of the aisle should be proud of what is being accomplished. i also want to applaud leaders reid and mcconnell for their commitment to an open amendment process. despite the broad agreements that have been reached so far, the senate can and should consider germane suggestions to
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change and improve this bill. i know that i will support dr. coburn's amendment on fee diversion. i also hope the senate will accept an amendment that i filed today which would remove the section of the bill dealing with venue. while venue shopping is indeed a serious problem, the current language in the bill risks stunting the further development of case law which has begun to address the problem of plaintiffs manufacturing venue in districts that have a reputation of being hospitable for had a tent suits. companies such as oracle and h.p. which initially supported the legislative version here, the tproerl of version in this bill, now fear this provision will do more harm than good. i look forward to debating this and many other in the amendments to be considered by the senate in the future. mr. president, let me conclude my remarks on senate 23, senate bill 23, the america invents act, by renewing my call to my fellow senators to carefully consider and support this critical legislation. the america invents act is complicated and the subject
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matter may seem daunting, but i believe it is critical to protecting america innovation and defending and advancing american competitiveness. the playing field for economic innovation has never been more crowded. the united states faces rivals growing in strength and number which is why our government should be encouraging innovation rather than stifling it. the america invents act will create jobs in delaware and throughout the united states by removing some of the current administrative roadblocks that prevent inventors from becoming successful entrepreneurs. this bill, i believe, will improve the speed, quality, and reliability of our patent and trademark office and it will ensure that america retains its place in the world as the leader of invention and innovative thinking. mr. president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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